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January 2020Volume 20, No. 1
Fostering Arts-Rich Schools


Advocates have long fought for equity in arts learning, making the case for arts as core and not “special” curriculum. These cries were heard when the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gave states the opportunity to expand student access to quality instruction in the visual and performing arts. This issue of the State Education Standard gives state policymakers good reasons to pay attention to the depth and breadth of instruction their schools offer in music, drama, theater, dance, and media arts—all key components of students’ well-rounded education.


Fostering Arts-Rich Schools

Cover Image for January 2020 Standard


Children play xylophones. Image credit: Blanca Velazquez-Martin

The Art of Early Childhood Education

By Eleanor D. Brown

Arts integration shows promise for school readiness, emotion regulation, and stress reduction in the youngest, most vulnerable students.





Image credit: University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

How Arts Education Supports Social-Emotional Development: A Theory of Action

By Camille Farrington and Steve Shewfelt

Instructional practices rooted in action and reflection could transform how all disciplines build students' competencies.





Painted Desert Sunset. Image credit: iStock

Advancing Arts Education in Arizona

By Catherine "Rusty" Foley

Arizona leverages partnerships, ESSA funding, and a diploma seal to bolster equitable access to arts learning.





Hands of young potter, creating earthen jar on the circle. Image credit: iStock

Arts in Turnaround Strategies

By Valerie Norville

A+ Schools and Turnaround Arts schools commit to a model of school improvement.






Using Arts Data to Match Community Organizations to School Needs

By Valerie Norville

Six communities follow Chicago's lead in developing arts education census data and maps.





Choir behind microphones. Image credit: iStock

Using ESSA to Leverage Arts Education Policy

By Lynn Tuttle

Several states are using ESSA to increase access and quality in arts instruction.





Students making mosaic. Image credit: iStock

The ESSA Arts Indicator in Illinois: A Study in the Art of Policymaking

By Jonathan VanderBrug

Arts educators bring creativity and process expertise to their work on statewide accountability.





Boy builds gumdrop and toothpick structure. Image credit: iStock

The Role of Arts Integration and Education in Improving Student Outcomes

By Andrea Boyle, Jim Lindsay, Meredith Ludwig and Yinmei Wan

If research is to inform state policy, important gaps in research should be filled.






Arts as a Core Academic Subject. Image: ECS

Expanding Access to High-Quality Arts Instruction

By Mary Dell'Erba

Advancing research and innovative policies can move states toward universal access to a quality arts education.






Opinion



Microphones on a table. Image credit: iStock

We the Media: Social Media Policy for State Boards

By Renée Rybak Lang

The World War II-era posters asserting that “Loose Lips Sink Ships” reminded the public that careless talk could undermine the war effort. Fast forward to today, with more people, including public officials, taking to social media to opine on any number of subjects, an apt advertisement might read, “Loose Tweets Sink Fleets.”





The NASBE Interview: Gigi Antoni

By Gigi Antoni

For 21 years, Gigi Antoni led Big Thought in Dallas, a nonprofit focused on overcoming the opportunity gap for children in poverty. For her work in expanding access to arts learning, in 2011 she was named by President Barack Obama a Champion of Change for Arts Education. Since 2017, she has been director of learning […]





Women on board speaking to meeting

NCSBEE Voice: Arts

By Image of Alicia Williams and John-Paul Hayworth

All too often, arts programs are the first on the chopping block when schools struggle financially. Some states, however, are requiring schools to provide arts-related information on their statewide school report card.





Women on board speaking to meeting

From the President’s Pen: Evaluating the State Chief

By Robert Hull

Even more widely varied than how a state board is assembled is its scope of authority, with a few being solely advisory and others totally independent. All state boards have three primary levers: the powers of policy, convening, and questioning.







Featured Items

Multiracial group of teachers walking in school hallway. Image credit: iStock i

Strengthening the Principal Pipeline through State Leadership Academies

Missouri, Delaware, and North Carolina have developed evidence-based professional learning for current and prospective school leaders to increase their effectiveness and reduce turnover.
A multi-ethnic group of seven children standing in a row in a school hallway, laughing and smiling at the camera. The little boys and girls are kindergarten or preschool age, 4 to 6 years. i

State Advances in Early Childhood Education Seed Plans for 2024

In 2023, several states made significant strides toward universal pre-K, increased funding and support for early educators, and improved literacy and math instruction.
Business people sitting on books. Image credit: iStock i

Curriculum That Counts

Authors in this issue of the Standard draw lessons from a spectrum of state policies that are being used to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum.

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